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10million watch the new Dr Who

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2005-03-28 Daily Mail.jpg


Eccleston's debut as the Time Lord exterminates ITV rivals Ant & Dec

DOCTOR WHO made a triumphant return on Saturday night by attracting his biggest audience since Tom Baker's heyday in the 1970s.

Christopher Eccleston's debut as the Time Lord, who was bock on BBC1 after an absence of 16 years, was watched by 10.5milllon fans.

The Doctor came up against old foes the Autons, the shop window dummies which first terrorised Jon Pertwee - another of Eccleston's predecessors - in 1970.

And the viewing figures were second only to those achieved 30 years ago by Baker, who is widely regarded as the most popular Doctor of all.

With the aid of glamorous assistant Billie Piper, the Doctor also helped his BBC masters to a major victory over their ITV rivals.

The episode attracted more than double the 5million who usually watch BBC1 at that time on a Saturday

It meant that, compared with the week before, a million fewer watched Ant et Dec's Saturday Night Takeaway - LTV's flagship entertainment show which ran In direct competition.

Beating the magical 10million figure also meant Doctor Who attracted a bigger audience than the finals of Big Brother, X-Factor and Stars In Their Eyes. The show clearly benefited from a marketing and production budget estimated at up to £10million.

The last time Doctor Who was screened, when Sylvester McCoy played the lead role, only 4million were watching and the programme was axed in 1989.

But McCoy was generous in his praise of his successor yesterday, saying the opening episode 'It had great pace, it moved really quickly, and was witty.

Christopher Eccleston was quite alien as the Doctor - he looked wonderful. He had this manic grin - we were not sure if he was on the edge of insanity or not, which was rather good. He ran into danger with such gusto. He galloped at it joyfully.'

McCoy was similarly enthusiastic about 23-year-old Miss Piper as sidekick Rose. 'Billie Piper was quite fantastic,' he said 'The relationship between the two was quite extraordinary.

'In a way this Doctor was not the brightest brain in the universe he's a bit like an Oxford don in that he's hill of brains but with not much nous

'There was a great scene when he was searching for a giant round object and Rose had to point out he was standing in front of the London Eye. He seemed to need Rose more than any other Doctor needed his companion, because she could really help him.'

William Hartnell was the first Doctor in 1963. Eccleston becomes the ninth actor to travel the Universe in the Tardis, trying to save Earth from such legendary enemies as the Zygons, the Cybermen and of course the Daleks.

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  • APA 6th ed.: Yeller, Henry (2005-03-28). 10million watch the new Dr Who. The Daily Mail p. 8.
  • MLA 7th ed.: Yeller, Henry. "10million watch the new Dr Who." The Daily Mail [add city] 2005-03-28, 8. Print.
  • Chicago 15th ed.: Yeller, Henry. "10million watch the new Dr Who." The Daily Mail, edition, sec., 2005-03-28
  • Turabian: Yeller, Henry. "10million watch the new Dr Who." The Daily Mail, 2005-03-28, section, 8 edition.
  • Wikipedia (this article): <ref>{{cite news| title=10million watch the new Dr Who | url= | work=The Daily Mail | pages=8 | date=2005-03-28 | via=Doctor Who Cuttings Archive | accessdate=25 July 2024 }}</ref>
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